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Archive for March, 2011

Knight Fever

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Sorry for the long swarths of time between posts these days but alas the day job calls. However here’s something fun to tide you over, one of my fave retro-80s electronic artists DMX Krew (AKA Ed DMX, here as ‘Michael Knight’) doing what he does best; a spot-on 80s electro cover of the Knight Rider Theme
by Stu Phillips.

DMX Krew As Michael Knight – Knight Ryder


No Experience Necessary

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

While I’m often known for featuring reggae covers of well known songs it’s not that often that I get to feature actual covers of reggae songs themselves, so I thought thought I’d showcase the other legendary Bob in reggae, (and the better  of the two IMO), Bob Andy.
Bob’ Andy has a long and lustrous career in three acts. First as the founder of the legendary Paragons, who if you’re not familiar with reggae may have heard them via Blondie (The Tide Is High) or Massive Attack (Man Next Door). Next was a brief but furtive career with Marcia Griffiths as duo Bob and Marcia and who managed to crack the UK #5 with their version of Young, Gifted and Black. And thirdly as a solo artist, penning several Jamaican hits that have gone on to become reggae standards, like today’s post for example; the Coxosne Dodd/Studio One produced Too Experienced.
I thought I’d launch with my first exposure to this track, via the all-female second-wave ska act The Bodysnatchers. Like a lot of American teens into UK music during the 80s, I discovered ska through this era, having no idea that Too Experienced (as well as pracitcally 90% of the Two Tone catalog) was a cover till many moons later.
Taking one step back though, we also have some original rocksteady/ska era cuts from Winston Francis, Owen Gray, The Slickers, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, Jackie Edwards, Eddie Lovette and Ken Lazarus & The Federalmen (which is essentially an organ version of the previous Lovette track).
For true ‘versioning’ fans there’s an instrumental/dub cut from Dub Specialist (listed here as ‘Excelo Rock‘) and a proper re-versioned version from The Silvertones called ‘Much Too Wise’. We also have roots reggae rendition by Wayne Wade and couple of fairly generic 80s digital dancehall cuts from Barrington Levy and Christine McNabb.
And lastly here’s two non-reggae renditions; one a downtempo R&B version from the Mercury prize winning, but now sadly missing in action, two-step diva Ms. Dynamite (featuring Barrington Levy again) and the other from the Fool’s Gold stable, electro duo Telephoned (featuring Maggie Horn, who in VG‘s opinion is a whole big mess of cute).

The Bodysnatchers – Too Experienced
Winston Francis – Too Experienced (Mr. Fix It version)
Winston Francis – Too Experienced (Straighten Up version)
Owen Gray – Too Experienced
The Slickers – Too Experienced
Byron Lee and the Dragonaires – Too Experienced
Jackie Edwards – Too Experienced
Eddie Lovette – Too Experienced
Ken Lazarus & The Federalmen – Too Experienced
Dub Specialist – Excelo Rock (AKA Too Experienced)
The Silvertones – Much Too Wise (AKA Too Experienced)
Wayne Wade – Too Experienced
Barrington Levy – Too Experienced
Christine McNabb – Too Experienced
Ms. Dynamite – Too Experienced
Telephoned – Too Experienced


PS Those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub who haven’t, ahem, experienced the Bob Andy version, got the original on the wall for you…


Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

A fun little fact that I learned about Devo the other day was that their iconic, self-funded video for Whip It was partially based on a true story (Which BTW If you haven’t seen it you’re missing an 80s cultural relic worthy of The Smithsonian.):

The main visual of the video, Mark Mothersbaugh whipping the clothes off a woman, was inspired by an article in a 1962 issue of “Dude” magazine. Casale explains “There was a feature article on a guy who had been an actor and fell on hard times, he wasn’t getting parts anymore. He moved with his wife to Arizona, opened a dude ranch and charged people money to come hang out at the ranch. Every day at noon in the corral, for entertainment, he’d whip his wife’s clothes off with a 12-foot bullwhip. She sewed the costumes and put them together with Velcro. The story was in the magazine about how good he was and how he never hurt her. We had such a big laugh about it, we said, ‘OK, that’s the basis for the video. We’ll have these cowboys drinking beer and cheering Mark on as he’s in the barnyard whipping this pioneer woman’s clothes off while the band plays in the corral.'”

So today we have an Energy Dome worth of unusual covers. Considering these guys are considered electronic music pioneers, I thought I’d lead with some electronica versions. First up is a  downtempo/leftfield cut that hints at lounge from Globo (from the always quality Hydrogen Dukebox stable). Next is two versions from VG faves Opium Jukebox ; one an abstract downtempo/breakbeat sitar cut while the other, Quiet Demo, is a purely standalone sitar rendition. Moon Unit do a fun little synthpop, Casio meets Bootybass cut. FUN FACT Moon Unit is made up of Andy and Richard from The Droyds fronted by the actress who played the junkie-hooker in Eyes Wide Shut.. Terre Thaemlitz, never one to shy away from experimental music, does an ambient rendition of Whip It worthy of Brian Eno.
One that didn’t make the electronica list funny enough was Moby, who instead does a cheeky Death Metal Version. Other rock oddities today are a 50s doo-wop rendition by Big Daddy and making Lynyrd Skynyrd weep Jack Daniel tears is a spot on southern rock version from Willy Porter. For no reason other than I dig them is indie dance-punks Does It Offend You, Yeah? and lastly for those having a an early 90s retro hip hop moment is little known female rap duo Def Dames.
But wait there’s more…Guaranteed to clear your party of those last remaining house guests is a 1,2,3,4! aerobicise-version from Carol Hensel as well as everyone’s favorite helium huffing rodents The Chipmunks (the original crappy 80s ones, not the newer, even shittier ones)

Globo – Whip It
Opium Jukebox – Whip It
Opium Jukebox – Whip It (Quiet Demo)
Moon Unit – Whip It
Terre Thaemlitz – Whip It
Moby – Whip It (Death Metal Version)
Big Daddy – Whip It
Willy Porter – Whip It
Does It Offend You, Yeah? – Whip It (Live)
Def Dames – Whip It
Carol Hensel – Whip It
The Chipmunks – Whip It


PS Devo fanatics in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub who still can’t get me no satisfaction, have a bonus track on the wall for you…

For Japan…

Monday, March 14th, 2011

To all my Version Galore readers in Japan, my best wishes for a speedy recovery…


Thursday, March 10th, 2011

This one goes out to the fine folks over at La Dimension De Trastos who did a rather nice write up about Versions the other day. Seems he stumbled into an earlier post we did about an Afrobeat cover of a Jimi Hendrix tune and then got lost in our Cheesecake Factory-sized menu of fine cover selections. Well La Dimension, as a way of saying thanks got another badass, afrobeat Jimi Hendrix cover for you. This time it’s a spitfire paced rendition of Fire from Afro-Brazillian UK funksters Saravah Soul.

Saravah Soul – Fire

Enjoy! (and thanks again for the write up!)

Pale Shelter

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

At the risk of scaring away the 99.9% of people who read my site that aren’t spotty electronica fans,  I’m featuring yet another house/techno cover. A) cause it’s fresh of the presses, B) Because they’ve been boasting about it/building it up for like the last year and a half now and C) Well dammit it’s a great cover of a great song done by another great band. So pull the guitar picks out of your ears give a listen to retro-sounding house outfit Hercules & Love Affair who tackle Shelter by retro-sounding new wave mopesters The XX. It’s the summer of 1987 all over again! (now where did I leave my BOY of LONDON rolled cuffed jeans and Wayfarers?)

Hercules & Love Affair – Shelter


PS Those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub who are still ‘meh’ on what good house sounds like, got the original indie version on the wall for you…

Buggin’ Out

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Detroit garage rock messiahs, The Dirtbombs have been on something of a homegrown techno cover kick as of late. First it was proto-electro classic Sharevari, but today they’ve upped the ante and decided to tackle Innerzone Orchestra (AKA Carl Craig) landmark phuture jazz track Bug in The Bassbin. Already an epic track in it’s own right, the ‘Bombs stretch theirs into a whopping 22 minute garage/funk journey.

The Dirtbombs – Bug In The Bassbin


PS For those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub who spent/wasted most of the 90s listening to, echhh…, Pearl Jam and Dave Matthews (or maybe just Spongebob and Animaniacs), got the original and a bonus remix on the wall for you…

Bold Eagles

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

You know who else besides Prince supposedly has a giant hate hard-on for people covering their songs? Southern rock brontosaurs The Eagles (or more specifically from what I heard, Don Henley), who I guess prove the math formula:
Imitation = Sincerest form of Flattery, therefore Flattery = Nowhere.
But apparently that never stopped Linda Rondstadt. Nor the Gypsy Kings for that matter.
So dumping more sand in The Eagles’ dirty Tivas today are two covers of I Can’t Tell You Why; A slowjam electrofunk version from Chromeo and a bossanova/lounge/easy listening cut from Nossa Alma Canta.

Chromeo – I Can’t Tell You Why
Nossa Alma Canta – I Can’t Tell You Why